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‘We don’t accept their bigotry’: Hundreds expected to gather at Town Hall to protest Religious Discrimination Bill

Hundreds are expected to gather at Town Hall later today. Photo: Sydney Living Museums.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

Protestors will gather at Town Hall this afternoon to protest the Religious Discrimination Bill discussed in federal parliament this week, with the Community Action for Rainbow Rights, the protest organisers, calling the Bill a “vile piece of legislation that will enshrine the right for a tiny bigoted minority to discriminate against LGBTI people”.

Over 450 people are expected to converge on Town Hall at 1:00 this afternoon to protest the Bill, which was the topic of extensive debate and discussion in Canberra this week.

Proposed religious freedom laws were passed in the House of Representatives at about 4:00 am on Thursday morning, despite five Liberal Members of Parliament crossing the floor to vote against their party in a bid to extend protections for transgender school students. It has since been shelved by the government, with the Bill still needing to be agreed upon in the Upper House before it can be transferred into law.

Following the shelving of the Bill, protest organisers said that “we need to keep hitting the streets in order to ensure it isn’t revived by either the Liberal Party or the ALP”.

Yesterday, the Community Action for Rainbow Rights organised a snap action outside the Marrickville offices of Anthony Albanese, the Leader of the Federal Opposition and Member for Grayndler, who said that his party’s support for the Bill was conditional on a series of amendments, including protections on the grounds of sexuality and gender identity.

Organisers say that the protest this afternoon will take aim at the Liberal’s endorsement of the Bill, writing that “we need to keep up the fight against these privileged right wing politicians and lobby groups” and that “we don’t accept their bigotry”.

Overhauling religious freedom laws acted as one of the Coalition’s central promises for the 2019 election, with the shelving of the Religious Discrimination Bill leaving the commitment uncertain to be fulfilled ahead of the election, which will take place no later than May. The exact date of the election has not yet been called by Mr Morrison.

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